How Does the Anti-Car Jacking Feature Work on Car Alarms?

by Paul Bright

Car Security

From the day cars hit the road until the 1970s, the only way to secure vehicles were locks on car doors. All it took was an expert lock picker to find a way into your car, rewire the ignition and take it to a chop shop to be sold for parts. Fortunately, technology has advanced since those days, and we now have car alarms with anti-jacking features. With tough economic times and people having to get second jobs, the last thing you want is to lose your car to theft.

Car Alarms

Car alarms were a great revolution in the car security systems. They became especially popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the advent of the Viper car alarm system. Many sports cars could be heard saying "Protected by Viper" or "Please step away from the vehicle" whenever someone got too close. However, American society has largely become numb to the sounds of car alarms going off. A study by Transportation Alternatives showed that 95 percent of car alarms in New York were set off by vibrations and not theft attempts, rendering them much like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Criminals knew this and took advantage of the situation.

Evolution to Anti-Jacking

Now car alarms come with an assortment of anti-car jacking systems. A prospective car thief has to think twice now before deciding to heist a vehicle. The way the systems work is either through tracking devices or system shut-offs. With tracking systems like Lo Jack, a special tracking device is installed on the vehicle. Not even the car owner knows the exact location. If a vehicle is reported stolen, Lo Jack can track the car via GPS and locate it.

With shut-off systems, a car can actually disable itself after a thief takes possession. Autowatch, for example, is a brand that requires the owner to cancel the anti-jacking alarm system every time he starts the car. If it isn't canceled via secret code or hidden cancellation button, the car will stall, stop and then start flashing lights and honking horns for at least 90 seconds.

For extremists, another anti-car jacking device can actually hurt thieves. There was once a system called The Blaster that spit out flames from the sides of a vehicle to thwart the thief. These are but a few examples of anti-jacking devices that cars use. If you value your vehicle and you have only locks on your car doors, maybe it is time for a security upgrade. The cost may hurt your pocket at the beginning, but in the end it will be well worth it.

About the Author

Paul Bright has been writing online since 2006, specializing in topics related to military employment and mental health. He works for a mental health non-profit in Northern California. Bright holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and a Master of Arts in psychology-marriage and family therapy from Brandman University.